Maggie had a great training session yesterday. We were inspecting a room where a training aid (live bugs) had been hidden behind a painting that was above the couch.
That’s a pretty difficult situation because you wouldn’t think to check for bugs behind a painting or a picture, but when it’s located above a couch or a bed it’s a common place to find the bugs, so we’re training Maggie to check there when she she’s that kind of set up.
As soon as we entered the room she had the scent and tracked it to the couch, and followed the scent up the wall to the painting, and she bumped the painting with her nose and the painting moved, which scared her. This is great because it should teach her she doesn’t need to put her nose on item to smell the bugs, and with certain items, like a painting or a picture, she shouldn’t, and that picture moving like it did taught her that better than we ever could.
So what she did next, because she was still a little spooked, was she gave me a strange alert with a half sit, which really amounted to her squatting, not sitting, and looking back at me hoping that would be good enough… It wasn’t. I withheld the reward she was hoping for, and she jumped down off the couch and started searching the rest of the room hoping she could find the scent somewhere else and she wouldn’t have to be so close to that scary painting. She searched the entire room and to her chagrin, didn’t find any more scent, so she tried alerting somewhere else where she remembered she had found the training aid in the past, hoping that would work. Of course it did not, I told her to keep searching. She tried that one more time just to make sure she couldn’t get away with it, before jumping back up onto the couch and alerting properly, and getting her reward.
Sometimes being so smart can make it harder to train a dog, but in this case yesterday, she was learning important lessons all on her own, which is the best way for her to learn them.
While you’re checking your home for bed bug infestations, it’s important that you also inspect your vehicle periodically for the little buggers. Full Story on the Burlington Record.
That means you need to be vigilant about what you put in your vehicle. Think twice about stowing yard sale items, for example, especially if they’re full of the nooks and crannies where bedbugs love to hide. Hop online to familiarize yourself with what bedbugs look like — and how to spot their bites and other evidence they leave behind when they head back into their lairs.
“They crawl onto your luggage and lay eggs — and they glue them on; those eggs are not going to fall off,” said White. “And always brush off the outside of your suitcase before you put it in the car.”
Prevention is a lot better than the cure. That’s because two of the three most effective methods for getting rid of bedbugs aren’t really suitable for use on automobiles. That leaves fumigation, which uses gases to permeate bug-ridden areas. “We take an auto, tarp it to make it airtight and insert gas at a certain rate until it kills the eggs and bedbugs,” said White. “The gas breaks down in air and won’t hurt people when it disperses. And it’s more environmentally friendly.
“The drawback is, it’s the more expensive option — about $1,000 to $1,200 per vehicle. So the real secret is not to get bedbugs in the first place.”
If you’ve had bed bugs in your auto or RV in the past, or if you think you may have them there now, or if you’ve had them in your home and just want some peace of mind, I’ll be happy to check your autos with Maggie to make sure there are none there, and if they are there, let you know where the infestation is.
Lawsuits for bed bug inspections are on the rise. A tenant in Maryland was recently awarded $800,000 in a lawsuit over bed bugs. Full Story on Baltimore Sun.
The claim was that when the resident moved into the vacant apartment, it was already infested with bed bugs. Through the course of the remediation, she ended up having to get rid of much of her property, and because she was able to prove to the court the rental owner/manager knew about the problem and failed to address it, she received a huge pay day.
Your tenant doesn’t have to get such a large judgement to ruin your whole day, and doesn’t necessarily have to prove you knew about the infestation to get a smaller judgement that doesn’t include punitive damages.
Inspecting your vacancies in between residents moving out and new residents moving in can save you money, and a huge headache. Make sure you document your inspections and the results and maintain those records for several years after the tenancy terminates.
Using a K9 detection team for bed bug inspections makes the process much easier, much faster, and you’re much more likely to find the bugs if they are there. Having a dog team check a home will really give your tenants the peace of mind they deserve.
Email or call me to schedule an inspection of your next vacancy! It’s a great preventive medicine.
According to the Wallstreet Journal, The City of New York Health Department treated an entire floor of their headquarters building because someone found a single bed bug in the building.
That treatment may have been completely unnecessary. That could have been a case of a single bug that had hitchhiked into the building and hadn’t yet laid any eggs. It’s also possible (although it’s unlikely they had any kind of infestation in that type of building) they could have had a small infestation, something that could have been mitigated with a more limited,and cost effective treatment plan.
A well trained dog could have searched the entire building for bed bugs, and pin pointed the exact location of an infestation, if any existed, allowing the City of New York to save thousands by only treating the affected area, instead of the entire floor. A dog can locate a single bug or egg hidden in a building, potentially saving you thousands on the treatment of an entire building.